POY sweep: Mason wins John R. Wooden Award
LOS ANGELES – Kansas basketball senior Frank Mason III was named the winner of the 2017 John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s most outstanding men’s college basketball player, announced Friday night during ESPN’s College Basketball Awards show in downtown Los Angeles.
A senior, Mason averaged 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds to help the Jayhawks reach the Elite Eight. Mason beat out fellow Wooden finalists Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Hart of Villanova, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga.
“It means a lot to me,” Mason said on ESPN after receiving the Wooden Award on stage. “I want to thank John R. Wooden. I want to thank my parents. I want to thank my coaches and teammates. Other than that – this award means everything to me but nothing would have meant more to me than a national championship … God had a plan for me. I’m just thankful to win this award.”
The Petersburg, Virginia native is the second Jayhawk to win the Wooden Award and the first since Danny Manning won it in 1988.
Mason also received the Bob Cousy Award Friday night as the nation’s top point guard.
The 5-foot-11 guard is the fourth-straight senior to win the Wooden Award. Seniors haven’t captured the Wooden Award in four consecutive season since it happen seven-straight times from 1987-93.
Mason, the 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team honoree (both unanimous selections), averaged 20.9 points per game and was the first Kansas player to lead the Big 12 in scoring since 2004-05. The Petersburg, Virginia, native also led the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.490), while ranking fourth in assists (5.2 apg). Mason, who will graduate from Kansas with a liberal arts and science degree in May 2017, became the first player in Big 12 and Kansas history to average 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game for a season. Mason concluded his career sixth on the KU career-scoring list at 1,885 and sixth in career assists at 576. He is only player in Kansas history to rank that high in both career points and assists.
Among the other awards handed out Friday, Hart won the Julius Erving award (top small forward), Kentucky’s Malik Monk won the Jerry West award (top shooting guard), Baylor’s Johnathan Motley won the Karl Malone award (top power forward) and Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award (top center).
Mason’s 2016-17 Season Summary
• Became the only player in KU and Big 12 history to average more than 20 points and five assists in the same season.
• Showed a knack for taking over games, which directed Kansas to a 31-5 record and its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title with a 16-2 league mark.
• Led the Big 12 in scoring overall (20.9 ppg) and during conference play (21.0 ppg).
• Averaged 5.2 assists per game.
• Two-time national player of the week.
• Three-time Big 12 Player of the Week.
• Posted 23 games of 20 or more points, including his final seven contests and 10 of KU’s last 11 outings.
• KU’s leading scorer in 26 games.
• In the Big 12, Mason ranked first in 3-point field goal percentage (47.1), fourth in assists (5.2), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), seventh in free throw percentage (79.4), ninth in field goal percentage (49.0) and 14th in steals (1.3).
• Made 50.0 percent (43-for-86) from 3-point range and 2.4 treys per game in Big 12 play.
• Shot 103-for-119 (86.6 percent) from the free throw line in his final 15 games, making 6.9 charity shots per contest in that span.
• Concluded his career No. 6 on the Kansas scoring list (1,885 points), No. 6 in assists (576), No. 8 in 3-point field goals (185), No. 13 in steals (165) and tied for third in consecutive starts (110). No Jayhawk in KU history ranked sixth or higher in both points and assists.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR COUNT
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy
NABC Player of the Year
Associated Press Player of the Year
Sporting News Player of the Year
Bob Cousy Award for Point Guard of the Year
CBS Sports Player of the Year
USA TODAY Player of the Year
Bleacher Report Player of the Year
NBC Sports Player of the Year
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